Ra Smiles Upon Me (Egyptian Sampler Update)

Here is my latest update on Teresa Wentzler’s Egyptian Sampler.  Its beautiful!  I love the colors and the subject matter.  I’m not really “into” Egyptian stuff, but my DH is so I’m doing this for him.  Since my last post, I’ve finished stitching and backstitching the border and the scarab, finished stitching the falcon (still needs backstitching) and started stitching Horus.  Please forgive the below par photos.   My camera battery is dead and I took these pictures in low lighting with my iphone.

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I’ve also recently finished the VS Pennsylvania Hearts of America.  I have one of these for every state I’ve lived in:  New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Indiana!  I lived for a summer in Denver during college, so I might try to find Colorado and do that one too.  I received mail there, so it counts, right?  I’ll do something with these someday…. when I’m sure I’ll not move again.

The story on the Pennsylvania one is a little bizarre!  I searched for the pattern on google and saw it offered for sale on Amazon.  I thought that was a little weird, but bought it anyway.   When I opened the kit to stitch, I found that the border was already partially stitched – about 15 stitches in the upper right hand corner!  I guess someone started it and didn’t like it and put it up on Amazon.  I finished it and here it is!

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I welcome all comments!

My Stitching Mojo is Back!!!

I haven’t done much stitching for the last couple of years.  One night, my fingers were feeling bored, so I picked up my Lizzie Kate Living with Charm Banner and reasoned that it was easy stitching and that I could finish the last three words pretty quickly.  So off I went and finished it!  This is the only larger project that I’ve finished in YEARS.  I am so excited to have it done and still love it!  I stitched this with all DMC and didn’t attach the little charms that come with the pattern.  If anyone would like the gently used booklets that include the charms, just e-mail me and i’ll put them in the mail for free.

Living with Charm

I was so motivated by a finish that I decided to pick up a Teresa Wentzler design!  I’m not a big fan of dragons, but I like most of her other designs.  My husband loves egyptian stuff, so I started Egyptian Sampler.  I had forgotten how much dreaded back stitching her designs have….  not my favorite thing.  The thing with TW is that when you get to the finished products, the back stitching is so worth it.  So…. here is my new start!

Egyptian Sampler

So shortly after starting this, I put my christmas tree up and realized that my husband needed an ornament like every other member of my family has.  This is based off Victoria Sampler “Humour” Virtues ornament that you can download for free on the Victoria Sampler website.  I stitched, finished, and put it on the tree last weekend.  I bet I’ve stitched at least 20 of these virtues ornaments over the years for friends and family.  I like how each one has a different design but all of the ornaments obviously look like part of a set, but each one has a different family member name instead of the virtue in the design.  So…. here is Will’s ornament photographed on the tree! The fabric is actually white, even though it doesn’t look it in this picture:

Will Ornament

So now that is done and I’m ready to get back to Egyptian Sampler!

1000 Origami Cranes

I got married on September 26 and had the idea that I should fold 1000 origami cranes to use as a backdrop to our ceremony and pictures.

The legend goes that the bride has to fold all 1000 of them to show the patience and commitment that a successful marriage requires. Cranes mate for life and are fabled to live for 1000 years. If the bride folds 1000 for her wedding she is granted one wish.

When I told my then fiancé about my idea, all he said was “that’s a lot…” I was undeterred by his lack of enthusiasm and started folding.  Note the tally sheet in the bottom of the pic!

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So at the time I had 4 months until the wedding. Despite my full time job, I decided this was no problem! I began folding in all of my free time. My sister in law volunteered to help. Then she got another sister in law involved. A college friend also started folding too.

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I went on a business trip In July and even folded at the airport! I did the initial folds so they wouldn’t get crushed in my bag, then finished the final folds when I got home! At this point I was starting to feel like even with my volunteers, I might not be able to finish.

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I texted some local friends and planned an origami party at my house. I cooked dinner, served wine, supplied plenty of paper, and taught everyone how to fold. We ended up doing it again a few weeks later.  Roger, Claudia, and Amy showed up. We had a blast!!!

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Finally all of the cranes were finished! The cranes filled a giant lawn sized trash bag to the brim. I was planning to string them all up and hang them at the wedding. I looked at this huge bag and felt overwhelmed. Not using them wasn’t an option after all of the time and effort of my friends. I dumped the bag onto a queen sized bed:

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I started stinging on cotton thread. Each crane was separated by two beads to space them out. Each string was approximately 7 feet long. This actually went really fast compared to the folding.  Will (fiancé) and his sister both helped and we made pretty quick work of stringing them up. Here is a pic of them hanging in my closet… if you look closely you can see the beads between each crane:

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Then I started thinking about how we were going to hang them. We were getting married in a banquet room of a historic hotel and they did not allow anything to be attached to the walls or ceiling…. Not even command strips! We had purchased a simple arch from a craft store but couldn’t think of how to attach the strings to create a “wall” of cranes. At this point I turned the rest of the project over to my fiancé and asked him to please make it happen. 🙂

So the day if the wedding, while I was sipping memosas and getting my nails done, my fiancé and best man constructed the arch, fully adorned with the cranes!!!! It was BEAUTIFUL!!! They did a wonderful job! As you can see, they used PVC pipe inserted through the arch to hold them all.

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After the ceremony the best man rallied a group of guys and they moved the whole thing across the hall to the reception room.

At the end of the party, we cut down strings of cranes and gave them away to guests as they were leaving. I love the idea of people hanging them I their homes or on their Christmas trees.

I snapped this picture at a friend’s house:

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Our wedding wasn’t elaborate and we didn’t kill our budget, but it was beautiful and I will never forget it. Not only because of the cranes, but because so many of our friends and families travelled from all over the country to be there together with us. Everyone got along, had fun, and several made side trips to local attractions over the remainder of the weekend.

Now that it’s all over I miss making the cranes. The repetition and enjoyment of seeing how all of the different paper patterns turned out in the form of a crane was fun and relaxing. Of course, I could keep on making them but seems pointless if they aren’t going to be used in any specific way. However, if there are any brides-to-be out there who need help with their cranes, email me and I would be happy to help!!

WIP UPdates!

OH its been so long since I blogged!  I accept the fact that my regular readers have given up on me!  Here it goes anyway:

So after I moved to Pennsylvania, I wasn’t feeling very inspired to stitch, so I didn’t blog since I didn’t have any stitching to talk about or show off…  I was busy with a new job, had met a new person in my life that I spent a lot of time with, and was reading a lot in my spare time.  It seemed far easier to fire up my kindle than try to pick up on a project that I hadn’t worked on for a long time.

Life now is much more settled down though and I’ve actually been stitching 2-3 months.

This is a new project I started entitled Colonial Roses by Sweetheart Tree.  This will someday be a biscornu.

Sweetheart Tree Colonial Roses:

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Here is the closeup view of what I’ve stitched so far:

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I’ve also added three new words to my Lizzie Kate Living with Charm Banner….

Believe, Care, Encourage:

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Here is How the Whole Project looks so far:

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And finally… the massive 8+ year WIP… Chatelaine Alpine Seasons!  Will I ever finish it??

Upper right hand corner confetti detail:

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The whole thing!!!

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Now that the confetti in this section is mostly done, i’m working on the mountains which are relatively large bands of color and very little counting.

So who thinks I can finally finish this beast in 2014? Once I get the stitching done there are hundreds of beads and crystals to add, but getting the stitching itself done would be fantastic!

Local Sight Seeing

So, now that the weather is getting nice outside, I’ve been doing some sight seeing in my new home state of Pennsylvania.  A couple of weeks ago, kind of in a sudden decision, me and a friend drove to Harrisburg to check out the state capitol, which I had heard was pretty nice.  We drove the half hour to Harrisburg and found the beautiful Capitol Building!

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We walked up all of the stairs and found the doors open! It had also happened that a tour had just started of the inside of the building so we caught up and tagged along with a bunch of middle schoolers.

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The Rotunda Staircase

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Inside the Doome

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Some of the Paintings Immediately Below the Dome

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Paintings in the Senate Room

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Wall and Arches in the House Room

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The State Supreme Court Room

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Nifty Painting in the Supreme Court Room… it contains three words…. can you find them all?

This is seriously one of the most beautiful buildings I’ve ever been in! All photos above were taken with my iPhone.

Earlier in the spring, I went with some new friends to do a bus tour of Washington DC, which is about 2 hours south of where I live. We mostly rode around the bus tour, but I found lots of things that I’d love to go back and visit. The one thing that we did get off the bus to see was the Lincoln Memorial! Spectacular!!!

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The rest of the pics are taken from the top of a double decker bus….

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These are just a few of the hundreds of pictures I took…. I’d love to go back and visit the Jefferson Memorial (and every other presidential memorial), the Hall of Records (Where Declaration and Constitution are), and the Martin Luther King Memorial. I’d also like to start visiting the Smithsonian Museums… all of which are free to the public. I think I’m going to need several trips to see it all!

I have done some stitching recently, but I’ll save those pictures for a future post.  🙂

Finished Project of the Week

Honestly… I thought I had already published all possible “Finished Projects of the Week.”  These posts feature stitching that was completed prior to my starting a blog.  In my recent picture re-linking I came across one that I’ve never published.  This is:

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Victoria Sampler Woodland Garden

Isn’t it sweet?  I love the rhodes butterflies.  I’ve never finished or framed this one… Its probably too small to make a bellpull out of it, but maybe a pinkeep finish would work… someday….

Its funny when you look at things you stitched and remember where you were and what you were doing when you worked on them.  This was a travel project during a trip to Oklahoma to visit my family.  I think my nephew, very young at the time, sat on my lap and I would let him pull the needle through a couple of stitches.  I also was working on this in a hospital waiting room while my mother was having some tests done.

Thank you for visiting my blog!

Commissioned Stitching

Back in October, I got a very nice e-mail from someone who had seen my Victoria Sampler Virtues ornaments and asked me if I would stitch two for her daughters.  I was so honored to be asked that I would have done it for free, but I charged a very reasonable price and she chose the ones that she wanted, the color of the lettering and the fabric for the back (she chose a red print).

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It seems I make these every year for someone!  They are so quick to stitch and are so sparkly and pretty when finished.  I’ve been making these for years, but recently I’ve changed the style of text that I use for the names.  Up until a few years ago, I just used the Victoria Sampler standard text style, but the last 4 of these have been with my own made-up font.  I’ve been thinking I should chart it and offer it for free here on my blog.  What do you think?

This is the only stitching I’ve done since I moved to Pennsylvania in October.  I want to…  it just doesn’t seem to happen though.

I did just order a pattern for a friend of mine, who expressed interest in me stitching something for him.  He is a freemason, and chose this Masonic Emblem from Dracolair Creations.  Its stitched on navy blue lugana (my favorite evenweave) and it makes me feel good that he wants me to stitch something for him.  I’m not crazy about the design itself, but I let him pick what he wanted… I’m just glad its not a whole lot of stitching and that I can probably finish it up fairly quickly.